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Old Jul 24 2009, 06:29 AM   #1
Master Archivist
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Hans 6 - Circus photographs

I recently visited a circus that stopped at our town; in fact, their tent was pitched not five minutes from my home on the parking lot of the local shopping centre. It had been about 40 years since I visited a circus and my wife and I had big fun.

I set the camera to the highest ISO value of 1600 and tried shots with existing light and with the Metz flashlite I have for my Canon camera (the built in flash would not have been enough for these circumstances).

A good subject for the existing light tries was this guy:

But I soon found that the existing light didn't work with other kinds of acts, acts that didn't generate light or a good reflection by themselves that is. At first I was hesitant to use major flash but when I saw people with point and shoot cameras happily flashing away I put mine into action.

Here's one of the horse-acrobatic act:

And there was this Scottish guy who was a wizard with diabolos, he actually managed to keep three in the air at one time.

In the above and below picture another "handicap" is revealed: the circus lighting and effects. For some reason the stage lighting was predominantly red and with most acts they were spouting stage smoke into the arena. If you have a mysterious act it might actually enhance the atmosphere but to my amateur judgement they overused it...

The lady below is actually hanging by her hair from a gyroscopic contraption on a single steel wire!

At the start of her act she appeared with something in her hands that looked like a wing. But, it was only the one (the one in her left hand in the photograph). And of course, true to seeing Pern and dragons everywhere, I just HAD to photoshop something and put a second wing into her right hand, so it looked more dragonlike and if she was really flying (which, in a sense, she was)

I was gad to be able to try taking photographs at such a (to my old 35 mm film self impossibly) high ISO setting to be able to still obtain a relatively high shutter time for all these (fast) moving objects. The camera was therefore set to shutter preference. It certainly helped me to build some experience about when to change ISO and what my camera does at that setting in combination with the external flashlite as well as existing light.
My major problem was one I had not expected: being seated to one side of the ring I now know that for good pics I should be opposite the entrance of the artists!
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

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